Texas Education Agency

November 2021

Special Education Newsletter

Three young students on the floor, sharing a book called Ovals, from Donna ISD
orange megaphone


Strategic Support Plan (SSP) and Corrective Action Plan (CAP) UpdateFor the 2021-22 academic year, local education agencies (LEAs) will have the following options to fulfill continuous improvement and/or compliance requirements (if applicable):

  1. LEAs may use the static SSP and/or CAP templates located in the Ascend Texas application through the Texas Education Agency Login (TEAL), to fulfill applicable continuous improvement and/or compliance requirements.
  2. LEAs may use the Support Plan feature in the Ascend Texas application to develop an SSP and/or CAP to fulfill applicable continuous improvement and/or compliance requirements.

U.S. Department of Education's Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services (OSEP) Response to TEATEA submitted a correspondence to OSEP on October 4, 2021 asking for guidance as to whether the Standard Protocol Dyslexia Instruction as described in the Texas Dyslexia Handbook could be considered to be specially designed instruction under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Read OSEP's full response HERE.


Evaluating and Improving Student Outcomes (EISO) Training: Over the past several months, TEA staff have been updating school board trustee training materials to align with new laws enacted by 87th Texas Legislature (2021) and to add information on several other agency programs, focusing on how they integrate with board of trustee responsibilities. The refreshed Evaluating and Improving Student Outcomes (EISO) training will equip attendees to not only train school boards on how to evaluate and improve student outcomes, but also educate trustees on the needs of specific special populations to better serve their student groups, districts, and communities. Beginning in mid-December, you will be able to register for an EISO 2022 training from the TEA website HERE

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 Upcoming Dates

September 30 - January 7, 2021: Anonymous survey for LEA leaders about what State Board of Education members should know about special education (more information in Department News)

December 9, 2021 from 2:00-3:00: TEA Special Education Webinar (topics TBD) 

December 17, 2021: LEAs required to engage in the SSP process and/or develop a CAP to address State Performance Plan (SPP) Indicator noncompliance should complete the applicable continuous improvement activities in the Ascend Texas application

Mid-December, 2021: TEA will release various IDEA-B, including ARP, funds. More information HERE

Department News

Evaluating Dyslexia in the Full and Individual Evaluation (FIE)

This recorded webinar is now available and covers the following topics: summarizes amendments to 19 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) Chapter §89.1040(c)(9) and eligibility criteria for specific learning disability (SLD); identifies the key update to the Texas Dyslexia Handbook 2021 related to evaluation; states the evaluation procedures for dyslexia as a specific learning disability under federal and state law; reviews the required and additional data to gather and interpret for an evaluation for dyslexia; and outlines the role of the multidisciplinary team to review data for the determination of dyslexia as a specific learning disability.

Access Recording Here


TIER Online Courses Available Now

Tiered Interventions Using Evidence-Based Research (TIER) trainings are now available online as courses within a Canvas learning platform. Courses currently available include:

  • Overview of Multi-Tiered System of Supports
  • MTSS: Relationships with Other Programs
  • Ongoing Professional Development and Support (MTSS)

All Texas educators may register and access these courses for free on the TEALearn website and earn Continuing Professional Education (CPE) hours. More TIER courses will be available throughout the year.

Check Out Courses Now


TSLAT's Mentor Guides

The Texas Statewide Leadership for Autism Training (TSLAT) has added three new mentoring guides to their website. These guides are designed to provide mentors of teachers with easy-to-follow course tracks and resources to facilitate the professional development of teachers. The three mentor guides include:

  • Onboarding Special Education Teachers
  • Onboarding General Education Teachers
  • Behavioral Guide

Each guide provides the mentor with a suggested course scope and sequence, discussion questions, vocabulary, key points, and a "for the mentor" section that will help facilitate meaningful mentoring sessions with teaching staff. 

Access Guides Here


Inclusion for Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities

The Texas Complex Access Network (TX CAN) has recently released a seven-course series on creating an inclusive educational environment. This series provides the professional development a team needs when transitioning students with significant cognitive disabilities from a self-contained setting to more inclusive environments. There are many resources within each course, including guiding considerations, step-by-step guides, fidelity checklists, and pre- and post-tests. In addition, an Inclusionary Coaching Guide was designed to help a team move through the process.

Start Courses Here


Supplemental Special Education Services (SSES)

The SSES program has expanded eligibility to include all students served by special education who attend a Texas public school. This is a first come, first served, one-time grant, and spots are filling up fast. Once spots are filled, there will be a waitlist for qualifying students. Additionally, most families will not receive an award notice until January 2022. Visit the SSES Homepage to apply and for additional program information.

Visit Homepage Now


Survey: Board Member Training

The Texas Education Agency is currently collecting data in order to inform the development of resources for training state board representatives. We are inviting you to complete an anonymous survey about your opinions regarding what board members should know about Special Education. The responses from this survey will be used to develop recommendations for training board members. The survey will be open from September 30, 2021 through January 7, 2022 and is intended for Superintendents, Assistant Superintendents, Special Education Directors, Curriculum Instruction Directors, Chief Academic Officers, and Special Education Coordinators.  Please complete the survey and pass it along to anyone who may be interested in giving feedback!

Take Survey

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